One thing that makes me very tired, as I grow older, is dealing with manipulative people. When I was young I bought into all their bullshit and took their feelings to heart, even as they coldly refused to consider mine. I had a habit of romanticizing people in my head, so I tended to put a positive spin on lots of negative behaviours that people displayed… Or rather I listened to the positive spin that THEY put on being cruel, or thoughtless. I’m still not immune to all the techniques that people use to get their own way but now I quite often SEEM to be getting sucked-in, whilst really I’m just monitoring the situation and deciding how long I’m going to let it go on for.
Here are some translations of the games people play, and the things they say, when they want you to let them get away with being inconsiderate to you:
“I’m very hard to get close to… But you’re special, I trust you.” = “You’re SO lucky that you get to listen to everything I want to say. That’s quite a privilege, so don’t blow it by saying anything I don’t want to hear.”
“I’m honest, I always speak my mind, no matter what people think.” = “I’m rude, suck it up.”
“I have a lot of things to deal with right now but at least I know I have YOU to turn to.” = “Don’t tell me any of your problems, just listen to mine.”
“Sometimes I go into myself and don’t want to talk.” = “Sometimes I have something better to do than talking to you, so don’t expect me to make time for you then.”
“You’re so good to me! You got me the only presents I got this year.” = “Thanks for the presents! See how important it is that you buy me presents!”
I’m not into birthdays and Christmas, I never buy anybody anything.” = “You’re not getting any presents back.”
“You know what I’M like…” = “I’m selfish, suck it up.”
“I never think people really WANT to talk to me… So it’s better if YOU contact ME.” = “You make all the running.”
You get the idea.
Sometimes it IS nice to be warm to someone who seems sad or lonely, whatever the reason. But often the reason they are like that, is that they don’t give a flying f*ck about anyone who isn’t pandering to them… And that means YOU, if you (in the fullness of time) try to ask for a more equal relationship. I’ve “enabled” more bad and selfish behaviour in my time than most people… Mostly because I thought that if you could show someone how good it felt to be on the receiving end of some niceness, they’d automatically want to return the pleasure. When you’ve supported someone for ages, through thick and thin and then they don’t actually care when you need some TLC, it hurts BADLY.
Don’t try to melt someone else’s heart of ice and break your own heart in the process. Lay some rules on them and limit what you will do if they don’t reciprocate.